As stand-in skipper, David Warner's record could hardly be better. Looking after Australia's white-ball teams when Steve Smith has rested since mid-2016, the opener boasts a record of 11 wins and a solitary loss. Rattling off five victories on the spin to dominate the Trans-Tasman series, he has now taken the T20 side from seventh in the world to within a decimal point of the top spot (for what little that is worth), all in the space of three weeks.

Six times through the course of New Zealand's capitulation of 8 for 62, a bowling change made by Warner earned a wicket within four balls. "It is about the bowlers executing their first overs," he said after play, deflecting the credit. "That's actually the bowler thinking and not me telling them what to do, it is them with their own plans. They executed well and I can't fault them throughout this tournament."

Earlier, when 37 runs were taken from the opening three overs, all signs pointed to a repeat of Friday night's mayhem. Warner's response was to turn to his spinner Ashton Agar on the ground with the shortest straight boundaries in the game. The over didn't bring an immediate reward, but it did break the flow and, three balls later, the breakthrough came at the other end, with the score on 48. The visitors were away. Performing with the confidence of a bowler trusted to do a tough job, Agar finished with Man-of-the-Match figures of 3 for 27.

Matters were complicated for Warner when he lost Chris Lynn to another shoulder injury from a fielding mishap, but he did have Glenn Maxwell to steady to chase before rain ensured their victory would be arrived at via Duckworth-Lewis. The Victorian, with 233 series runs at an average of 116.5 - including a match-winning century to get Australia's campaign underway - was named Man of the Series, much to the delight of Warner.

"You could see it hurt him to get dropped from that one-day team and obviously vying for Test selection at the start of the summer it looked like it hurt him," he said. "He's put the numbers on the board time and time again this year and we're really happy with where he is and his mental state with the game as well."

Barely seven hours after receiving the trophy Trans-Tasman tri-series trophy, Warner flies to Johannesburg to join his Test colleagues. Only he and Darren Lehmann from the current T20 set-up are on the plane, making him the only squad member unavailable for the tour game beginning Thursday some 7500 miles away. But the 31-year-old isn't concerned, believing the transition to long-form cricket is coming more easily to him than the opposite of late.

"It's more the other way this year," he explained. "I wasn't really timing the ball as well as I would have liked with the one-day stuff. In my mind I was probably going too hard - I've got blisters on my hands in places where I wouldn't normally get them purely because I was really tense and really just trying to fight that inner demon to say, 'go hard'. And I didn't need to. For me to go from here back to Test cricket, I'll fall back into place."

In the corresponding series against South Africa four years earlier, Warner made three centuries on the way to 543 runs at an average of 90.5 in a defining performance early in his Test career. "It's exciting, just thinking about it now sends shivers down my spine, so I just want to get over there and get into it," he said of the four Tests beginning on March 1 in Durban. "They're a world-class outfit."

But Warner being Warner, he didn't miss the chance to shine some light on a potential challenge for his next opponents, noting that they are coming off a hard-fought Test series against India. "We haven't really played against South Africa when they've had back-to-back Tests," he noted. "We've played them all the time when they're pretty fresh. You could see the back end that any big series you play, mentally you're going to have a bit of fatigue there."

This should be fun.